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Are My Wisdom Teeth Impacted?

Wednesday, 25 May 2011 03:56 PM

What are wisdom teeth? Wisdom teeth are the third molars, which develop lastly – usually when a person is 15-20 years of age. Their function is to grind food.

Problems with wisdom teeth include:
Wisdom teeth cannot function properly if their alignment is off. When the wisdom teeth are misaligned, they may be either positioned horizontally, or they may be angled inward or outward. In such a scenario, the misaligned wisdom teeth are expected to affect the adjacent teeth as well.

When the wisdom teeth are only partially erupting, there remains an opening that can lead to the onset of a bacterial infection and undesirable symptoms. Some of these symptoms include jaw stiffness, general illness, pain, and swelling.

Besides, partially erupting wisdom teeth are more prone to gum disease and tooth decay. This is because their cleaning becomes difficult as they are positioned awkwardly and are at a hard-to-reach location.

My wisdom teeth: Are they impacted?
You can find out whether your wisdom teeth are impacted or not by checking the extent to which the teeth are entrapped within the soft tissue or jawbone. Impacted teeth may erupt through or break through the gum.
You may go for a dental examination to see if your wisdom teeth are impacted. An X-ray can be helpful in checking the impaction of wisdom teeth.

Do wisdom teeth have to be removed?
Removal of wisdom teeth may be recommended in case of impaction. However, this is generally done in case of younger people, who have a fast healing rate.

If misalignment of wisdom teeth is posing problems, their removal is recommended.

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